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Adam is cross, very cross

December 21, 2013

Why is Adam so angry? Well it is very simple, yet again he has read on a ‘major news organisation’s website a significant mis-statement regarding the so called ‘living wage’

Health assistants, data entry clerks, administration staff and store people are among the 268 employees paid below the living wage, calculated to be $18.40 an hour. The living wage is defined as the amount workers need to survive on, while also participating in society.

This statement conveys to a reader that this is somehow an accepted and perhaps officially sanctified sum and rate. This perception could be given further weight by the article in which the words occur which talk about the scandal of Mid Central Health not paying the living wage.

Nowhere in the so called article, by one Kelsey Fletcher (who is no doubt a trained journalist with the mandatory degree in journalism) is there  any explanation that the living wage is an artificial construct developed by the Anglican Church and designed to emulate similar constructs overseas. The amount calculated is designed to promote a particular viewpoint and social construct. A primary approach seems to be to shame organisations such as Mid Central into paying wages at this level without any suggestion that the amount needs to be justified other than by the fact the promoters say so. No consideration is given to relativities, economic case or ability to pay. This may explain why public sector entities are targeted first, as it is so much easier to use OPM funds (Other People’s Money). The calculation is the subject of question by several commentators as to it’s validity. In addition the calculation has no legal standing whatsoever, so for a journalist to imply by using the phrase ‘defined as’ without qualifying by stating defined by whom is just not acceptable. The statements from the union are accepted without challenge.

On the other hand why should Adam be surprised. After all it would appear that this article by Kelsey Fletcher is what passes for journalism in NZ these days.

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2 Comments
  1. December 21, 2013 10:36 am

    The Dom-Post somewhat redeemed itself with a midweek editorial this week that described WCC’s living wage decision as “window dressing”.

    • adamsmith1922 permalink*
      December 21, 2013 10:42 am

      I2, Hmmm, they start from an extremely low baseline however!

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